In September-October 2006, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, working with partner government departments, led a series of National Roundtables that centered on Canadian extractive companies operating in developing countries. Among the companies, industry associations and civil society organizations that participated in this process, there was general support for improved transparency and credible reporting and disclosure of relevant information by extractive companies operating overseas. The Advisory Group, made up of business and civil society representatives, specifically recommended that Canada join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as a supporting country.
The Federal Government of Canada responded to broad support demonstrated through the Roundtables process and announced its official support for EITI on February 10, 2007. Supported by a coalition of government departments including the Canadian International Development Agency, Finance Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Natural Resources Canada, the initiative is a mechanism to encourage improved government accountability and long-term economic sustainability in resource-rich developing countries. EITI's transparency and accountability objectives are consistent with Canada's official development assistance policies on strengthening democratic governance, combating bribery and corruption, and strengthening the contribution of the private sector to poverty reduction through more responsible corporate practices. The EITI also helps to advance international commitments within the UN Convention against Corruption, the global framework for fighting corruption.
Canada's official support to EITI includes an initial contribution of $750,000 to the EITI Multi-Donor Trust Fund, as well as $100,000 per annum over the years 2008-2011. The Multi-Donor Trust Fund was established to provide financial support to countries seeking to implement EITI. It is administered by the World Bank, but the work plan of the Fund is set by a Management Committee consisting of the World Bank and governments who have contributed in excess of $500,000. Canada is one of six countries that have made this contribution, and therefore sits on the Management Committee. The EITI is governed by a Board of Directors that consists of the five constituent groups involved in the initiative - implementing countries, supporting countries, civil society organizations, the extractive industry, and investment companies. The Board has responsibility for oversight of the overall development, strategic direction, and credibility of EITI. The Board is supported by a Secretariat that is responsible for the day-to-day running of EITI and communicating with stakeholders.
Supporting governments, such as Canada, can help promote more effective resource revenue management by providing policy advice and technical assistance to host country governments, consistent with EITI principles, and encouraging Canadian multinational companies to participate in EITI and disclose company payments by country of operation.